I'm doing milk math again. At one point, Petunia seemed to be decreasing her milk intake, and I thought that I'd be able to drop a pumping session. That didn't happen. Instead, she ramped her milk intake back up. During the week, Petunia gets four bottles of a day- three at day care and one in the middle of the night, from Hubby. The bottles have between 4 and 6 ounces of milk. She also nurses approximately four times a day- once first thing in the morning, twice in the evening before bed, and once in the middle of the night. I can't really say how much milk she's getting when she nurses, but I'd guess that it is between 3 and 6 ounces each time.
I'm pumping four times a day, three times at work and once before bed. This weekend, I tried to add in an a pumping session each day, but that is hard to do, and I didn't really get that much. I certainly won't be able to make up the difference over the weekends. I've already started taking fenugreek again, and smell faintly of maple syrup- so I know I'm taking enough. Still, I've been slowly depleting my frozen milk supplies. At one point, our freezer seemed to overflow with little plastic bags of milk, frozen in 3 ounce aliquots. Now, I'm down to 6 bags. How did that happen? At the rate I'm using them, I'll be out by next week.
So, I have a decision to make. The way I see it, I have three options:
1. Keep going as we're going, and just replace one bottle each week day with formula. I have no problem with this option in theory, but in practice it would be the first time I've used formula since the first few days of nursing Pumpkin, when we had latch problems and had to supplement. Perhaps because I associate formula use with those difficult times, I'm strangely resistant to this option. I'm usually a fairly rational person, though, so I suspect I can overcome this irrational resistance. But Petunia's never had formula, and may refuse it. Or it may upset her tummy.
2. Stop having Hubby give a bottle in the middle of the night. I'd do all the night time feedings, and would probably therefore need to sleep in on the weekends. Even with that, I'd be really tired, because I wouldn't be able to get my minimum sleep requirement of 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Pumpkin's bedtime is too late to make this possible. Now, I could go to bed before she does, but that would probably create more problems than it would solve.
3. Accelerate our plans to introduce dairy and hope that this causes Petunia to get more of her calories from solid foods. According to the latest opinion from the AAP, we could introduce soft cheeses and yogurt now. (When Pumpkin was this age, we were told to hold off on all dairy until she was a year old. So I think these guidelines are really just someone's wild guess.) We may do this anyway, but there is a good chance that it won't work. So I'm not sure I want to bank on it.
I vaguely remember hitting a similar problem at about this time with Pumpkin. I think I was able to add a morning pumping session and some extra weekend sessions and managed to make it through. Adding more pumping sessions is not an option this time- and that realization makes me a bit sad for poor Petunia. (Which is silly, I know, particularly when I look at the wonderful chub on her little thighs and arms. The girl is clearly not starving.)
What do you think? Am I missing any options? What would you do?